Monday, March 16, 2009

Ordering Order and Controlling Chaos.

Recently Massively pimped a link to the WARbander’s Handbook v1.0 (after Wizards and Wenches I do believe). It is a very good read indeed. However there is a question I have for everyone on your various servers.
How does your lot take control of the battle?

During the GOAMeet Tufmudda related some stories of what happened on his old server and his new one. You'll excuse me if I don't have the details down exactly as it was a wee while ago. One story related to the industrious Destruction player who through an immense amount of gold and the in game mail client mailed a huge amount of players to co-ordinate in secret a fortress attack. Operation Snotsner or something to that effect. Another related to Tufmudda himself and spending several hours in a warband not actively fighting. Instead of swinging his cleava and black orcing it up (guess on my part that) he had spent the entire time typing messages to a great many people, helping co-ordinate through the game and through voice chat the war effort. Pulling together bands, directing them to particular objectives and essentially running a battle across multiple fronts.

These stories and others about other peoples online experiences in WAR and other games served to firstly make me jealous. Jealous to such an extent that I toyed with the idea of moving away from the US servers of the game and to my own time and own people on the GOA servers. A place where I knew there was life, co-ordination and a battle to be fought.
Secondly it made me think about what can be done to change how it's all run where I currently am.

Anyone who plays MMOs for a while sooner or later hears that no matter how populated a game, the forums tend to be a vocal minority. Dedicated and devoted they may be (though that may be devoted to snark/flames) they are still a small number. Bloggers too are a small subset of a games population. Look at the Age of Blogging or WCPI initiative. Yes they raise the awareness of blogs and other forums but in the end most players will pass over them or give them a cursory glance at best.

With that excuse there, I admit that I am terrible with forums. I would love to be a regular on the forums, official or otherwise but sadly my attention span isn't up to it. Either I forget to log in, am too busy to or am considering blogging.

If I can't keep up with the war effort there, how can Joe Casual?

I happen to know that Ostermark has a channel, OrderRvR, for bringing people together to co-ordinate rvr. I know this because Bregel was around way in the beginning when people decided to create said channel. I heard it first from a friend and then over Christmas from the Warbands I was in. Sadly alot of those faces have either moved on or alted, and as a result I cannot tell how popular the channel is anymore. Do new folks get told? Am I part of an ever shrinking group joining the channel which one day may no longer have enough people on it to co-ordinate anything?

With this in mind I have an answer for Joe Casual, for me and for the war effort generally speaking.

Answer? Planetside.

We went halfway there with the leaders room in Sigmars Hammer and its Destruction equivalent. A room where only people of high guild rank can enter and thus can co-ordinate.
Planetside however had layers of channels dedicated to war efforts. To access them you had to earn command points for command ranks. CR1 would let you /sitrep. You could send a message one tier up to inform that layer of command. Messages and information passed up to higher ranks who in turn could co-ordinate with each other over greater distances. Onwards and upwards it went all the way to CR5 which allowed people to global message the entire server or a specific planet.

By giving these abilities only to people who earned command ranks which as you can guess can only be earned by leading, Planetside established the control for the war.

Throw in the channels or an equvialent and we may see more co-ordination on both sides beyond that of "Oh hey I see a warband" or "/g Is anything going on?" for people like me. The lazy guy, the footsoldier who will fight where told, when told, but only if someone is around to do the telling.

I'll serve my server in the war, but it'd be nice to give the people who spend the hours typing some framework to work from. Player created methods are fantastic, but only if we know they're out there.

Maybe I just missed it on Ostermark/Phoenix Throne. Anyone got a word for this foot soldier?


Anonymous said...

From my own observations, I'd say that there are a lot of players out there like you (and me!) - players who are perfectly happy to follow and fight, but who don't really do the leading thing, and that because of the ease of joining open parties and warbands, they all tend to congregate together...

Anonymous said...

I've been playing on Ostermark for a little while now and have not yet heard of said channel. Then again, there is little life there in T3.